Arsene Wenger has revealed that Olivier Giroud’s recovery from his broken tibia is ahead of schedule after a successful operation.
The French international has been on the sidelines for 51 days since suffering the injury in the final moments of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Everton but appears to be on track to return within the four-month rehabilitation timeframe initially outlined.
Speaking about the striker while working as a pundit for beIN Sports, Wenger noted: “Olivier Giroud is recovering very well. I believe he is ahead of schedule in terms of rehabilitation. The operation went perfectly.”
In Giroud’s absence Wenger bolstered his attacking options with the transfer deadline day signing of Danny Welbeck offering the England international an opportunity to shine in his preferred central attacking position.
Reflecting on whether the ex-Manchester United man will be able to function alongside Giroud – who has led the line in the previous two seasons – the boss hinted that there’s room to accommodate both players.
“Welbeck and [Giroud] can play together in the centre or separately. Welbeck also played on one side to Manchester United. Welbeck played in the same team with Rooney and van Persie. He can play down the sides.”
Given the potential and pace that Welbeck has demonstrated in his first couple of months at the Emirates he’ll probably not take too kindly to being shifted out wide, especially as he’s spoken so passionately about his desire to play in the centre after his experience at Old Trafford.
Given Theo Walcott has spoken in the past of his desire to lead the line, the brief experiment using Alexis Sanchez in the position and Yaya Sanogo’s ‘qualities’ it looks like the boss will have some tinkering ahead. Of course, that’s assuming all the options are fit and available at the same time…something that right now seems hard to imagine.